12 people have been arrested last Friday, 10th, following a year long operation where undercover officers from the NYPD’s Queens Narcotics Division, working with the District Attorney’s Office, were sold crack, cocaine, heroin, ecstasy and guns 98 times.
The investigation into drug related crime took place at the Astoria Houses. The 22 building development sits on the East River, near Eighth Street and Astoria Boulevard.
There are more than 3,100 residents who call the 32-acre housing development their home.
Some of the defendants arrested, such as Raekwon Ingram, 19, and Hassan White, 20, are reportedly members of the G-Squad gang, while others like Terrence Robinson, 26 belong to the Kings of Queens gang.
Among the Astoria residents who were arrested are; Kassim Caballero, 46, John Ellerbe, 49, Rick Humphrey, 55, Donald Johnson, 35, Justin Munoz, 18, Davonta Parham, 24, Paul Robinson, 28, Vianca Thapa, 49, and Michael Wilson, 63.
According to Queens Chronicle, the investigation was conducted by Detectives Anthony Votino (case detective) and Ricardo Moreno, of the NYPD’s Queens North Narcotics Division.
According to newyorkdailynews, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said that, “the takedown began last September to combat violence and narcotic sales in and about the Astoria Houses development by a loosely knitted group of individuals that included purported members of the violent street crews.”
In a statement, NYPD Police Commissioner Bill Bratton also commented on the operation, saying,“illegal narcotics and firearms serve only to fuel violence…..the NYPD remains firmly committed to protecting communities such as the Astoria Houses and holding responsible those who engage in drug and gun trafficking.”
The dirty dozen may face from nine to up to 15 years, if convicted.
*Featured Image Credit: WARD, JESSE/NYDN